Buckwell, Andrew, Christopher Fleming, Maggie Muurmans, James C.R. Smart, Dan Ware, & Brendan Mackey (2020, November, in press). Revealing the dominant discourses of stakeholders towards natural resource management in Port Resolution, Vanuatu, using Q-method. Ecological Economics, 177, art. 106781. (doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolecon.2020.106781)

Abstract: Rural communities in Pacific small island states, which rely directly and acutely on the benefits from ecosystem services, face a range of interlinking threats to their management of natural resources, exacerbated by climate change-related risks, all against the backdrop of rapid social and economic transition. Appropriate and sufficient community adaptation responses are required to maintain habitats and sustain livelihoods. Adaptation responses are mediated through often competing subjective discourses. We used Q-method to reveal discourses within a subsistence community in Vanuatu and amongst associated stakeholders. We revealed three discourses, which we called Strong Kastom, Kastom + Health and Tentative Modernity. When we compared stakeholder socio-demographic attributes we found a statistically significant gender difference between membership of Strong Kastom, which was skewed towards men and Tentative Modernity, which was skewed towards women. We also found that external practitioners were weighted away from Tentative Modernity. Our results suggest ecosystem-based adaptations to climate change will likely resonate with the community if they support customary natural resource knowledge and management, and provide opportunities for generating income, and promoting gender equity in decision-making. Our results also suggest external practitioners may not consider income generation to be sufficiently important to community resilience.

Andrew Buckwell <a.buckwell@griffith.edu.au> is in the Business School, Griffith University, Nathan Campus, Nathan, Queensland, Australia.

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